ngland are weighing up exactly how many changes to make to their XI for the Second Test against India in Chennai, with Jofra Archer ruled out and captain Joe Root confirming that Stuart Broad will return to the side.
England are making at least two changes to their XI after thrashing India by 227 runs in the First Test. Jos Buttler has flown home to rest, meaning Ben Foakes keeps wicket, while Archer drops out, with Broad coming in.
England are yet to decide whether James Anderson is also rested, which would mean Olly Stone or Chris Woakes coming in as a pace option. Mark Wood and Sam Curran played in Sri Lanka, but are resting.
Moeen Ali is also in contention. He could replace Dom Bess as the team’s off-spinner, or come in for Anderson, leaving England with two seamers and three spinners.
Zak Crawley is back in the nets, but will not be ready for the second Test. On Thursday he faced spin but not seam and will continue to increase his workload following a wrist injury. With Buttler and Jonny Bairstow rested, that leaves James Bracey as the only specialist batting cover, although Moeen could come into the top seven.
“Everything is on the table,” said Root of selection. “It’s really important that, when we look at these three games to finish this series, for us to win out here, it’s going to have to be a real squad effort. Guys are going to have to come in and rotate. They will have to come in and be fresh and deliver when they’re given an opportunity.
“So there might be a few changes from the previous game but that’s exciting as well. Jos goes home, which presents a brilliant opportunity for Foakesy. We all know what a fine player he is in his own right. We’ll mull over some other changes ahead of the game.
“I think as a whole bowling group it is important we consider everyone. Everyone is human, nobody is a robot.”
Broad, 34, put in an excellent performance in the opening Test of England’s long Asian tour, taking three wickets against Sri Lanka. His old mucker Anderson then came into the side, and has taken 11 wickets at an average under 10. It is possible the pair could play together in the third Test, a day-night affair in Ahmedabad.
Root reflects on historic India victory
“It is great he is fit and firing and ready to go ahead of the last three games,” Root said of Broad. “It will be exciting to see him back out there. Stuart will play and we expect him to do exactly what he has done in the recent past in an England shirt.
“He’s been extremely professional about things, all he’s tried to do is make sure he’s in the best possible place to start extremely well and he’s a great example for the rest of the guys, he’s been taking things on board, he’s been passing on and talking through ideas, how we’re going to take wickets out here the whole time, he’s not just been gone about his own thing, he’s bought into the whole bowling group and he always adds a huge amount.
“It’s great to see him so excited about playing and you know he’ll be extremely determined to put in a good performance and really make this game count – that’s always a good place to have Stuart, if he’s got any sort of point to prove or he’s not been playing, he’ll want to be the main man and have a real impact.”
India are set to recall the fit again Axar Patel in place of Shahbaz Nadeem, who has been released from the squad.